5 May 2022

New evidence that waistlines predict prostate cancer mortality

Being overweight has been identified as a significant risk factor for prostate cancer this week, with a new study linking body fat with the risk of fatal prostate cancer. At the same time, the World Health Organization is predicting that obesity might overtake smoking as the main risk for preventable cancer in many European countries.

The study from Oxford University, presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Maastricht, the Netherlands, found that every 10cm on a man’s waist increases his odds of dying from prostate cancer by 7%. The risk increase was similar for overall body fatness.

“Age, family history and black ethnicity are known risk factors but they are not modifiable, and so it is important to discover risk factors that it is possible to change,” said Aurora Perez-Cornago, of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford Population Health, University of Oxford, who led the research.

Meanwhile, a report from the World Health Organization says that obesity is causing 200,000 new cancer cases annually and 1.2 million deaths a year across the European region – with figures predicted to rise in the coming decades.